Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Walla Walla Wine Word for Dummies: Weekly Wine Word Wednesday

The Weekly Walla Walla Wine Word for Dummies: Legs

"Legs" is the name given to those long rivulets of wine that runs slowly down the inside of a glass, especially after a glass of wine has been swirled

Every so often I will notice someone swirling their glass of wine and raising the glass towards the light to watch the mythical indicator of the wine's quality appear.  Legs, or "tears"  were once thought of an indication of the quality of the wine - the more legs, the higher quality. Not so.  

Legs are about physics. Now stay with me here for the science part of wine. Since wine is a mixture of alcohol and water, alcohol has a quicker evaporation rate and a lower surface tension than water. Therefore gravity pulls, overcoming the surface tension and the alcohol runs back down the side of the glass. So while this swirling experiment may be indicative of a higher alcohol content in the wine, it has no bearing of the actual quality of the wine. 

*Drawing from Brampton Wine Studio

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